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Poor Josh Frydenberg: caught on the wrong tram, heading for trouble

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23.06.2019

It’s not my policy to feel sorry for any politician – they’re all hugely ambitious volunteers – but I do feel sympathy for Treasurer Josh Frydenberg. He’s not the first treasurer to be strong on party dogma but light on economic understanding, but he’s among the first to be heading into stormy weather light on expert advice from a confident and competent Treasury.

There he was, thinking his first budget would be his last, primping up a pre-election budget that claimed to have fixed the economy and delivered on deficit and debt when that was all in the future and built on nothing more than years of wildly optimistic forecasts, combined with a massive tax bribe whose cost will keep multiplying for seven years.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg discussing economics and policy.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

Do you think that while cooking up the happy forecasts needed to justify his claims of Mission Accomplished and make his tax cuts seem affordable, Treasury warned him of the risks he was running, making himself and his government hostages to fortune?

I doubt it. They wouldn’t have been game to. The Coalition’s politicisation of Treasury, intended to kill its corporate sense of mission and replace it with people........

© Brisbane Times